Athens City Performance, Brand Strength and Reputation

Athens embodies a harmonious blend of ancient architecture, rich cultural heritage, and modern transformation. The Greek capital has endured challenging times, including financial crises, wildfires, and the pandemic. However, a new era of investment and sustainable development is attracting tourists, businesses, and digital nomads alike. The city’s affordability and iconic landmarks make Athens a popular destination.

As Greece’s financial capital and a major economic center in southeastern Europe, Athens is home to important Greek banks and companies, as well as multinational corporations. The city also serves as a significant container shipping hub, with the Port of Piraeus experiencing its third consecutive year of growth, solidifying Athens’ role in global trade.

But how does Athens perform in terms of economic performance, city brand strength, and reputation, according to leading rankings and indices?

Let’s explore:

  • Athens’ competitiveness and financial performance
  • Athens’ brand strength and global attractiveness
  • Livability: Athens’ appeal for digital nomads and locals

Athens’ Competitiveness and Financial Performance

Which aspects of Athens’ urban living make it an attractive place to live and work?

The Global Financial Centres Index 35 ranks Athens 105th, between Sofia (104th) and Bermuda (106th), with only a slight decrease in nine positions. In FinTech, Athens is ranked 99th. However, Athens ranks among the top Eastern European & Central Asian Centres In GFCI 35. The ranking indicates a Reputational Disadvantage, suggesting that Athens could benefit from stronger marketing efforts.

Athens saw a significant improvement in the 2thinknow’s Innovation Cities Index 2022-2023, leaping an astounding 158 places to rank 66th, between Basel (65th) and Sacramento (67th). This remarkable rise highlights Athens’s growing role as an innovation hub.

Athens’ Brand Strength and Global Attractiveness

Which subfactors hurt and help the brand of?

Resonance’s 2024 World’s Best Cities Report places Athens 48th, between Tel Aviv (47th) and Frankfurt (49th). Despite facing setbacks such as a financial crisis and the pandemic, Athens managed to rise five positions since 2023. The city continues to renew itself and be attractive to tourists and digital nomads, ranking 27th for Sights & Landmarks, 19th for Shopping, and 22nd for Nightlife.

Brand Finance’s City Index 2023 positions Athens 55th, between Shanghai (54th) and Lyon (56th), reflecting its solid brand strength on the global stage.

Livability: Athens’ Appeal for Digital Nomads and Locals

Which aspects of Athens’ urban living make it an attractive place to live and work?

The Mercer Quality of Living City Ranking places Athens 94th, between Riga (93rd) and Busan (95th). Despite being lower on the list, the Mercer Cost of Living Ranking places the city 97th, indicating that Athens provides a good balance between cost and quality of living.

In the Best Urban Cities for Digital Nomads ranking by Spot a Home, Athens is ranked 50th, between Oslo and Abu Dhabi. The city scores highly in Average Rental Cost for a 1-Bedroom Apartment and Quality of Coworking Spaces, but particularly poorly in Startup Score and Internet Speed.

The Arcadis Sustainability City Index 2022 ranks Athens 69th, with pillar rankings of: Planet 64th, People 50th, Profit 80th. The city should focus on economic development and improving business infrastructure to increase its appeal to businesses and digital nomads.

In 2024, the Times Higher Education ranking placed the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in the 501-600th bracket, ranking highly in Research Quality and Industry. The National Technical University of Athens in the 601-800th bracket. The QS World University ranking positions the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens 444th, and the National Technical University of Athens has risen to 347th, reflecting significant strides in academic excellence over the past two years.

Last updated in June 2024. More city profiles here

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